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Archive for July 15th, 2008

EU Energy Strategy Beats US Energy Tragedy

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

As the 27-nation EU bloc declare their support for eco-friendly products and technology, and propose to cut energy consumption, the US opts for offshore drilling.

France’s Ecology Minister told EU energy ministers in Paris last week that energy efficiency has become the “keystone” in EU energy strategy.

The EU Commission’s “action plan on sustainable industrial policy and on sustainable consumption and production” is part of that startegy.

“There will be proposals on green public procurement, as well as widening the scope of the existing directive on eco-design to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and the scope of rules on eco-labeling will be widened,” a Commission spokesperson said.

The EU bloc is 63 percent more populated than the US, but uses less than a half of the per capita energy and produces 46 percent less CO2. [Sources: EIA, US Census Bureau, BP]

So, which one of the two “super states” has a smarter energy strategy, EU or the US?

Hint: You don’t need a Ouija board to work that out!

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The Big Island

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

The Island of Hawaiʻi (the Big Island or Hawaiʻi Island) is a volcanic island With an area of 4,028 square miles (10,432 km²), it is the largest island in the United States and larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

The Island of Hawaiʻi is built from five separate shield volcanoes that erupted somewhat sequentially, one overlapping the other. These are (from oldest to youngest):

  • Kohala (dormant),
  • Mauna Kea (dormant),
  • Hualālai (dormant),
  • Mauna Loa (active, partly within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park), and
  • Kīlauea (very active; part of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park).


This simulated true-color image of the island of Hawai’i was derived from data gathered by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite between 1999 and 2001. Image: NASA/NOAA

The Island of Hawaiʻi is administered under the County of Hawaiʻi. The county seat is Hilo. It is estimated that as of the year 2003, the island had a resident population of 158,400.

MAP of Principal Islands of Hawaii


Source: [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/united_states Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection]

In greatest dimension, the island is 93 miles (150 km) across and has a land area of 4,028.0 square miles (10,432.5 km²),representing 62% of the total land area of the Hawaiian Islands. Measured from its base at the sea floor, to its highest peak, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, even taller than Mount Everest, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Traditionally, Hawaiʻi is known as the Big Island because it is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands and some confusion between Hawaiʻi Island and Hawaiʻi State can be avoided.


Mauna Kea with its seasonal snowcap, viewed from Kohala Mountain . Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, one of five volcanoes which together form the island of Hawaii. Pu’u Wekiu, one of numerous cinder cones on the summit plateau, is the highest point in the state of Hawaii at 13,796 feet (4,205 m). Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from base to summit, since its base is located on the seafloor about 19,000 feet (5,800 m) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean, bringing its total height to about 33,000 ft (10,000 m). In the Hawaiian language, mauna kea means “white mountain”, a reference to its summit being regularly snow-capped during the Northern Hemisphere winter. [Caption from Wikipedia]
Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
Credit:
Eric Guinther; via Wikimedia Commons

Because Mauna Loa and Kīlauea are active volcanoes, the island of Hawaiʻi is still growing. Between January 1983 and September 2002, 543 acres (220 ha) of land were added to the island by lava flows from Kīlauea volcano extending the coastline seaward. Several towns have been destroyed by Kīlauea lava flows in modern times: Kapoho (1960), Kalapana (1990), and Kaimū (1990). (Source: Wikipedia)

Volcanoes of Hawaii (Big Island)

About 8 million tourists visit the Hawaiian Islands each year, leaving behind a legacy of air, land and sea pollution.

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Kilauea Volcano Continues to Discharge Lava

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

Kilauea Status Reports, Updates, and Information Releases

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
Monday, July 14, 2008 07:48 HST (Monday, July 14, 2008 17:48 UTC)

KILAUEA VOLCANO (CAVW#1302-01-)
19.42°N 155.29°W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Aviation Color Code: ORANGE


The lava fountain on shield 3 (12-15 m high). USGS

Activity Summary for last 24 hours: Kilauea summit and Pu`u `O`o cone continued to deflate. Unusually small amounts of ash and elevated amounts of sulfur dioxide gas continued to issue from the Halema`uma`u vent. At the east rift eruption site, incandescence was observed from vents within Pu`u `O`o Crater; lava flows from the TEB vent flows through tubes to ocean at Waikupanaha; surface flows within the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision may have reached the coastal plain.

More …

Photograph by C. Heliker on September 19, 1984

Lava fountain 450 m high bursts from Pu`u `O`o in September 1984. In the foreground, low fountains play above a fissure that opened just before the main vent began to erupt. After the high fountains relieved some of the pressure on the magmatic system, the fissure activity died.

Summary of the Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha Eruption, 1983-present

The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha eruption of Kilauea, now in its twenty-fourth year and 55th eruptive episode, ranks as the most voluminous outpouring of lava on the volcano’s east rift zone in the past five centuries. By January 2007, 3.1 cubic km of lava had covered 117 km2 and added 201 hectares to Kilauea’s southern shore. In the process, lava flows destroyed 189 structures and resurfaced 14 km of highway with as much as 35 m of lava.

Beginning in 1983, a series of short-lived lava fountains built the massive cinder-and-spatter cone of Pu`u` O`o. In 1986, the eruption migrated 3 km down the east rift zone to build a broad shield, Kupaianaha, which fed lava to the coast for the next 5.5 years.

When the eruption shifted back to Pu`u `O`o in 1992, flank-vent eruptions formed a shield banked against the west side of the cone. From 1992 to 2007, nearly continuous effusion from these vents has sent lava flows to the ocean, mainly inside the national park. Flank vent activity undermined the west and south sides of the cone, resulting in the collapse of the west flank in January 1997.

Since 1997, the eruption has continued from a series of flank vents on the west and south sides of the Pu`u `O`o cone. During this time the composite flow field has expanded westward, and tube-fed pahoehoe forms a plain that spans 15.6 km at the coast.


Puʻu ʻŌʻō ( pronounced roughly “poo-oo oh-oh”) is a cinder/spatter cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano of the Hawaiian Islands. USGS.


Aerial view of lava lake in Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater. The crater is about 250 m in diameter. 30 August 1990. Credit: J.D. Griggs – USGS/HVO


1983-1986, The rise of Pu`u `O`o: episodic lava fountains build massive cone. USGS


Lava moves across the ground as a pahoehoe flow, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i – Photograph by J.D. Griggs on 13 November 1985 – USGS

Eruption_1954_Kilauea_Volcano
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. May 1954 eruption of Kilauea Volcano. Halemaumau fountains. Photo by J.P. Eaton, May 31, 1954. USGS

This report on the status of Kilauea volcanic activity, in addition to maps, photos, and webcam images (available using the menu bar above), was prepared by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park status can be found at http://www.nps.gov/havo/ or 985-6000. Hawai`i County Viewing Area status can be found at http://www.lavainfo.us or 961-8093.

More …

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, health, Puʻu ʻŌʻō | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Image of the DAY: SUBMERGENCE!

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

Never Mind the Cars. Your Rolex Watch Would Probably Be Safe in the Water!

A police officer inspects flooded cars in a residential area after heavy rain fall in Giubiasco near the southern Swiss town of Bellinzona July 13, 2008. REUTERS/Fiorenzo Maffi. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

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Earthquakes in Alaska

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

Earthquake History of Alaska

The earth’s most active seismic feature, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, brushes Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, where more earthquakes occur than in the other 49 States combined. More than 80 percent of the planet’s tremors occur in the circum-Pacific belt, and about six percent of the large, shallow earthquakes are in the Alaska area, where as many as 4,000 earthquake at various depths are detected in a year. Excerpt from USGS.


Worldwide Earthquakes 2000 – 2008 [as of July 14, 2008]  – Image: USGS

Posted in Ash cloud, Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, lava, Okmok Volcano, politics, seismic activity, Tourism, Travel, Umnak Island, volcanic eruptions | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Explosive Eruption at Okmok Volcano [Update #1]

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

Click link for: Okmok Eruption & Cleveland Volcano [Update #2]

A strong explosive eruption is underway at Okmok Volcano

AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

2008-07-14 16:26:51 – [2008-07-15 00:26:51UTC]

Information Statement
Summary

A strong explosive eruption is underway at Okmok Volcano on Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians.The volcano is currently at aviation color code RED and alert level WARNING. All areas immediately around the volcano are considered hazardous. Airborne ash and gas continues to drift with the wind and pose a hazard to aviation in the area. Additional ash fall will occur on Umnak Island and possibly adjacent islands as long as the eruption continues.


Image of the eruption of Okmok, taken Sunday, July 13, 2008, by flight attendant Kelly Reeves during Alaska Airlines flights 160 and 161. Picture Date: July 13, 2008 Image Creator: Kelly Reeves – Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Latest OKMOK VOLCANO Status Report

Alaska Volcano Observatory
Current Status Report
Monday, July 14, 2008 12:39 PM AKDT (20:39 UTC)

OKMOK VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-29-)
53°23’49” N 168°9’58” W, Summit Elevation 3520 ft (1073 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

The eruption at Okmok continues based on ongoing seismic activity. Satellite observations indicate ash emissions continue reaching altitudes of 30,000 – 35,000 ft asl. Satellite observations also indicate a thermal anomaly in the western portion of the caldera (in the vicinity of Cone D.). There is currently an NWS ash fall advisory in effect for the Eastern Aleutian zone, including Nikolski and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.

Satellite data shows an ash plume extending towards the southeast at an estimated height of 30,000 – 35,000 ft (~9 – 11 km) above sea level.


Okmok Caldera as viewed from an Alaska Airlines jet in early June, 2007. Okmok caldera is a nearly circular, 500- to 800-m-deep, 8- to 10-km-diameter collapse crater that truncates an older volcanic edifice. The current caldera formed about 2000 years ago. Since then, numerous eruptions from vents on the floor of the caldera have produced a variety of cones, craters, lava flows, and other volcanic features. As of March, 2008, Okmok last erupted in 1997 and is one of the most active of volcanoes in the Aleutians. Picture Date: June 07, 2007 – Image Creator: Cyrus Read – Image courtesy of AVO/USGS.

Reports indicate no ash fall in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor since Saturday, July 12. There is currently an NWS ash fall advisory in effect for the Eastern Aleutian zone, including Nikolski and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.
Ash fall is expected to continue downwind of the volcano including over marine areas in the North Pacific. Areas in the immediate vicinity of the volcano on Umnak Island should be avoided, particularly the Crater Creek drainage northeast of the caldera.

Ash clouds are drifting southeast of the volcano and poses a risk to aircraft in the vicinity. The current estimated ash cloud height for the ash is 30,000 – 35,000 ft asl (~9 – 11 km) above sea level.
Ballistics may impact the areas around the caldera rim.

Historical eruptions of Okmok have typically produced lava flows, however at this time we cannot confirm that a lava flow has been produced.

Okmok Volcano is located on the northeast end of Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians about 65 miles southwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. The volcano consists of a 6-mile-wide circular caldera or crater about 1600 feet deep that formed about 2000 years ago. Okmok has been frequently active in historical times producing ash clouds often accompanied by lava flows within the caldera. The most recent eruption occurred in 1997 and produced ash clouds and a lava flow that traveled about 5 miles across the caldera floor.

See http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Okmok.php for more information.

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Bertha Revving UP!

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

BERTHA IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS…


A satellite Image of Bertha before arriving in Bermuda. NOAA, Jul 10, 2008

  • AT 800 PM AST [Atlantic Standard Time]…0000Z [GMT]…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BERTHA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 33.4 NORTH…LONGITUDE 64.0 WEST OR ABOUT 85 MILES…135 KM…NORTH-NORTHEAST OF BERMUDA.
  • LARGE SWELLS AND HIGH SURF ARE AFFECTING BERMUDA…AND THESE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.
  • DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS ARE ALSO OCCURRING ALONG THE U.S. EAST COAST FROM THE CAROLINAS THROUGH SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND.
  • BERTHA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS IN BERMUDA OF 3 TO 5 INCHES.

Excerpts from TROPICAL STORM BERTHA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 47A
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 PM AST MON JUL 14 2008

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